New evidence of women's pension disadvantage

October 2003
Management Services;Oct2003, Vol. 47 Issue 10, p5
Academic Journal
The British government's policy of allowing state pensions to decline, while increasing reliance on occupational and other private pensions, will perpetuate the disadvantage that women face in providing adequately for their retirement. This is the central conclusion of a new research by doctor Jay Ginn, co-director of the Centre for Research on Ageing and Gender at the University of Surrey in England. The research shows that for the majority of women, their private pension disadvantage--and hence their risk of personal poverty in later life--is unlikely to diminish in the future. For example, older women who are single enjoy a private pension advantage as compared with women who were never married. Compared with married women aged over 65, the chances that a single woman will receive any private pension income are nearly 7 times higher. The effect of motherhood in reducing full-time employment, earnings and private pension coverage is weakest for the 20% of women with a university degree. The biggest negative impact of motherhood on private pension prospects occurs for mid-skilled women--those educated to the General Certificate of Secondary Education level. Divorced women begin to catch up on lost employment, earnings and pension-building only when their children are independent, but they remain at high risk of poverty in later life.


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